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THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES : Tonight’s Football Games : Rancho Santiago Sets Its Sights on Fullerton for Now

Times Staff Writer

Rancho Santiago football Coach Dave Ogas laughed early this week when asked about the possibility of his team earning a berth in a bowl game.

It’s not that his team doesn’t have a chance. The Dons, 6-0-1 overall and 5-0-1 in Mission Conference play, are ranked sixth in the state.

It’s just that a bowl game is the furthest thing from his mind right now, and even discussing the subject seemed a little funny. Ogas is focusing his energy on tonight’s game against Fullerton in Fullerton District Stadium.

Fullerton (7-0, 6-0) is the top-ranked team in the state and ranked third in the national J.C. Grid-Wire poll. Both teams are 2-0 in Mission Conference Central Division play.

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In addition to Fullerton, the Dons still have to play Saddleback (6-1, 5-1) and Orange Coast (3-4, 2-4) in the final 2 weeks of the regular season.

“Three weeks from now we’ll play the sisters of the poor if it means we’re in a bowl game,” Ogas joked.

“But that’s a long way away. We have our hands full with Fullerton right now.”

Fullerton has outscored opponents, 247-90, and leads the 16-team conference in total defense, allowing 206 yards a game.

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The Fullerton offense, led by quarterback Victor Williams, is third in the conference, averaging 365 yards a game.

“Our defense saved us early until the offense matured,” Fullerton Coach Hal Sherbeck said.

Rancho Santiago isn’t without some impressive numbers. The Dons have the top offense in the conference, averaging 407 yards a game.

The Dons are led on offense by quarterbacks Scott Wood and Eric Turner. They have shared time all season.

“Each one knows that the one with the hot hand will stay in the game,” Ogas said. “But it’s really been a positive thing so far. Both would like to be the starter, but this has worked out so far.”

In other Mission Conference games:

Golden West at Saddleback , 7 p.m.--Saddleback needs to get past struggling Golden West to set up showdowns with Rancho Santiago next Saturday and Fullerton the following Saturday. Saddleback’s defense has given up a conference-low 76 points and has held the opposition 7 or fewer points 4 times. Golden West has lost 2 in a row but is lead by Blaise Bryant, the top runner in the state.

Riverside at Orange Coast, 7 p.m.--OCC has lost 3 in a row, and Riverside has dropped 2 consecutive games. Mike Crowe will make his second start at quarterback for OCC, which is still looking for an effective offense. OCC is averaging a conference low 208 yards a game.

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